December 10, 2012
A funny thing happened after I published the following post. I found out the word I thought I made up was actually a real word. I did what I always do in such situations—panic. I “unpublished” the post before the scandal that surrounds the real “foetry” could leave a mark on my permanent record.
After the panic subsided (with a little help from a mug of mulled wine), I decided to publish the post anyway because:
A. I didn’t have a back-up post.
B. Maybe my mistake will teach others to practice due diligence before posting things on the internet that will be available to the entire world to read forever. Unfortunately, I know from experience that I probably have not learned my lesson yet.
Below is the now obsolete post, although I think a vote is still appropriate. After all this hoopla, I’m sure the word will make the dictionary someday. But I think I’m getting ahead of myself…
A few weeks ago a new word came to me. I’m not sure if it was a humorous inspiration from my muse, or a dig about my poetic posts from my hyper-critical internal editor. The word came to me after I visited the Query Shark and read:
”Bad poetry is very easy. Good poetry is hard. Poetry that illuminates and enhances art work, uses language for developing minds, and doesn’t bore the pants off the adults reading it either…well, that’s a real trick.”
-Query Shark aka Janet Reid
Reading that brought to mind the few poesies that had flowed with relative ease out of my head and onto my blog—The Ubiquitous Earworm:A Ballad and Black Friday Blues— to name a few. And I felt a tremor of anxiety. It hadn’t occurred to me when I posted them that they might in fact, be taken as serious poetry or even worse, that someone might think I had taken them as serious poetry.
Then it hit me. What I wrote wasn’t poetry. I wrote foetry. Or was it fauxetry?
Before I could enjoy the new-found word, I encountered the dilemma. Which way should it be spelled? Both rhyme with poetry, and although foetry makes more sense and looks better, it will inevitably on occasion, be pronounced fo-tree, thus rendering it useless. Fauxetry, on the other hand, is very awkward. But the chances of mispronouncing it are rare, unless one is unfamiliar with the word “faux” and those people won’t care about the spelling anyway.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Merriam or Collins get a hold of this word. It’s imperative that we, the people, decide the spelling now while it’s in our hands. But in order to make an informed decision some pertinent information, such as the definition, is needed.
Definition of FOETRY/FAUXETRY
Examples of FOETRY/FAUXETRY
- Any verse that contains the word Nantucket is an example of foetry/fauxetry.
Related to FOETRY/FAUXETRY
March 1, 2012
I know a man. He would say he’s ordinary, but I know he’s extraordinary. He took the road less traveled, and for me, it has made all the difference. From him, I’ve learned the truth about love and sacrifice and humility.
I thought I learned all about those things growing up. I’d learned about love from soap operas and reality tv. I’d offered sacrifices to my brothers– “You drank out of my can of Pepsi? Well, I don’t want it anymore. Just keep it.” I’d experienced humility in gymnastics class when I took an unanticipated dive off the balance beam while uttering a few choice profanities. When I got married and had children and I learned more about love, but I still didn’t understand it.
Then I met a man. He has a friendly smile and a self-deprecating wit that can convulse a crowd with laughter while pointing out with laser-like precision, the folly and humanity of each of us, himself included. But he never leaves it there; he teaches us how to overcome those things if we desire. He treats every person with respect, no matter how stupid I think their question or remark is. He controls his snarkiness with a skill I can only marvel at (not being able to control my own).
He always makes time for me and anyone else that needs him, or wants him, or dislikes him enough to want to tell it to his face. People come to him to be unburdened and he welcomes them day and night. (He meets less often with happy, contented people; they don’t need him.) At his feet, we dump our sorrow and grief and anger and confusion and addiction and ignorance and hatred. When I’m with him, I know I’m the center of his attention, no matter how full his inbox is or how deep the garbage around him. And when I leave, my burden is always easier to bear.
He spends his days knee deep in the misery that pools around him. I glimpsed it once, before he knew I was there. He was slumped in his chair, his head in his hands, the burdens of other’s squarely on his shoulders. And when I sat across from him, I could see it in his eyes and feel it in the air. I knew he didn’t get enough sleep and went many times without a meal.
Many people love him, but aren’t interested in him or his life or what he goes through. And I wonder if he sometimes feels alone amidst the humanity pressing about him constantly. Sometimes, even though you know you’re not alone, loneliness wraps around you and through you like a shroud. And I know, although he hides it well, that he longs for a moment of solitude.
I witness others watching him the way I watched my brothers around my can of Pepsi, hoping to catch him stumbling or better yet, falling down. They’re so intent on him as he journeys down his narrow road, they fail to see how often they themselves trip over the debris littering their own wide road. He faces the animosity aimed at him from every direction with unflinching humility, but I wonder how it affects him when he tries to sleep at night.
I could not walk in his shoes; it’s hard enough walking in my own and they’re much smaller. But he treads with a joy and humor that belie the things he hears and witnesses day after day. I’ve heard people ask him if he regrets his life. A look of sincere astonishment crosses his face. Then he breaks into a smile that I’d call radiant if it didn’t sound so cheesy, and he says simply, genuinely, ”No. I love being a priest.”
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
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